By Tekniska museet

In Sweden, food accounts for almost one third of households' climate impact, and to solve our global climate challenges, it is very important to find ways to change this. Tekniska museet (National Museum of Science and Technology)in Stockholm, has taken the science center concept into the restaurant kitchen to involve children and young people in a more sustainable eating.  

Reopening of the restaurant at the Technical Museum

When the Technical Museum reopened its restaurant just over a year ago, sustainability was set at the top of the agenda. Everything from interior design, equipment, and the menu choices was carefully selected for tough requirements.   

The food concept is first and foremost plant based where proteins such as meat and fish become optional accessories - and beef is not available at all on the menu. The dishes are chosen with care, based on what is in season.  

But as a science center, Tekniska wanted to take the concept one step further and engage visitors in the sustainable thinking. At Tekniska, it was clear that most children are thinking a lot about environmental issues, and that they would like to be involved and initiate changes here and now. It was a very important thing to invite them to do that.  

We need to understand how everything is connected

In order to make a change, we need to understand how everything is connected - from seed to the plate, and back to earth. Therefore, the visitors are involved in different ways throughout the cycle. Green walls covered by growing plants will give you a feeling for the foods’ origin. Meters show how much energy and water is used in the kitchen to produce the food and diagrams compare the usage during the last month with earlier periods.  

The menu table draws a lot of attention - a vegan pasta bolognese, meatballs made from elk, and a colorful buffet made solely on vegetables sometimes make parents a bit skeptical at first. But the children are welcome to taste and almost always find it better than usual.

The kitchen also inspires with innovative ways to take advantage of parts of the raw materials that we usually throw away – it inspires to smarter cooking at home.

Let's focus on food waste and make a change

When the visitor is leaving, the amount of food thrown away is measured by a digital installation in the waste bin, and an animated figure gives an applause for those who didn’t throw away food. By paying attention to important issues such as food waste, we can learn and make changes.  

In the restaurant kitchen, a machine works with making food waste into soil, and those who want can bring a bag of it home - perfect for growing new vegetables.